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Cy-Fox Unit

Protocol Cy-Fox v1.0

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Acknowledgements
This is a work of fiction that portrays an alternate timeline of that of the combined continuum of SEGA's Sonic the Hedgehog video game and comic book series made in conjunction with Archie Comics. This work is meant to be for the enjoyment of the fan and the science fiction reader alike and is not meant as a work to make profit. Characters from the continuum are a combination of 'canon' and derivative versions.

Naval officers must therefore understand not only how to fight a war, but how to use the tremendous power which they operate to sustain a world of liberty and justice.""


-Admiral Arleigh Burke, USN

Prologue

Mobian Space Admiralty
Mobotropolis, Republic of Mobius
12.08.2115 - 2:27 PM (Local Time - Republic Eastern Seaboard Time)

    The timing of the public inquiry and conference had rung with irony. One hundred and seventy-four years ago, a similar announcement and conference on Earth had signaled the entry of one of its most powerful nations and later the first nuclear power into a second world war. It came a day after a devastating surprise attack that crippled the United States Navy and was thought to be the opening to a west coast invasion.

    Only a few weeks ago, a similar attack came about on Earth's doorstep with equal surprise. The parallels dropped however as the attack did not come from an established nation. There was no exchange of diplomatic traffic that tried to paste salve onto the wounds in peace. The Battle of the ARK was a pure surprise that shook both Earth civilian and military leaders but also many in this very building, especially for Admiral Kyle W. "K.W." Bolton.

    Admiral Bolton was a blue-eyed, gray and white furred cat but not the kind that stood on four legs, staring down balefully at you and your friends while you ate steak and potatoes, debating on when to pounce and steal what he could like the trickster-demigod Loki. Instead he stood on two legs, had two hands with five fingers apiece, prominent claws at the ends and of course had a tail. His uniform jacket sat on the back of his chair and the sleeves of his charcoal gray shirt were rolled up to his elbows while he held his tablet in hand.

    RMSS Amadeus Prower (BB-0) - Readiness: Red - Crew: 40% Staffed - Armament: Black - Newport News Space Naval Yard (Space Station ARK) - Repairs/Recovery

    RMSS Mobotropolis (CC-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Home Orbit - Patrol

    RMSS Station Square (CC-1) - Readiness: Red - Crew: 65% Staffed - Armament: Black - Mobius Orbital Naval Yard - Repairs/Recovery

    RMSS Knothole (CC-2) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobius Orbital Naval Yard - Patrol/Guard

    RMSS West Island (CL-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobius Orbital Naval Yard - Patrol/Guard

    RMSS Emerald Hills (CL-1) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard

    RMSS Floating Island (CL-2) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Earth Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard

    RMSS Flynn (DD-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Earth Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard

    RMSS Stanley (DD-1) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Earth Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard

    RMSS Yardley (DD-2) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard

    RMSS McKay (DD-3) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard.

    RMSS Wakefield (DD-4) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard.

    RMSS Coore (DD-5) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard.

    RMSS Dixon (DD-6) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Mobian Warp Gate Exit - Patrol/Guard.
    
    RMSS Christopher Blair (CV-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% Staffed - Armament: Green - Fighter Wing: Green - Home Orbit - Patrol

    RMSS James Taggart (CV-1) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% -  Armament: Green - Fighter Wing: Green - Earth Orbit - Patrol

    RMSS Trafalgar (SS-0) - Readiness: Green - Crew: 100% - Armanent: Green - Mobia System Outer Rim - Special Operations

    Bolton sighed quietly, lowering the tablet down to his desk. Two capital ships under repair still. The casualties, both system and manpower, were caused by an electronic attack that affected the Guard Fleet in different ways. The battleship Amadeus Prower and the battlecruiser Station Square respectively identified each other as hostile targets and opened fire while their crews tried in vain to stop the firing. The attack was propagated per BUSHIPS Casualty Forensics’ analysis, by a combination of a polymorphic worm and intelligence direction. Human and Mobian ships and satellites were equally affected, paving the way for the attack on Space Station ARK.

    That was their collective Pearl Harbor, to have the onboard garrison as well as the many civilians that lived, worked and studied there under threat. To have the Warp Gate between Mobia and Sol cut off and either planet divided and at their attacker's mercy. But something unexpected had happened that week of November. It was a significant blip in the chain of events, centering around one of Bolton's subordinate officers. He switched to a different file on the tablet, reading over the casualty report that he had looked at earlier at breakfast.

    Prower, Miles A. - Lieutenant - Electronic Warfare Division Officer - Earth Naval Orbital Service - Space Station ARK: Killed In Action

    Correction: Prower, Miles A. - Lieutenant - Electronic Warfare Division Officer - Earth Naval Orbital Service - Space Station ARK: Severely Injured/Disabled

    Correction: Prower, Miles A. - Lieutenant - Electronic Warfare Division Officer - Earth Naval Orbital Service - Space Station ARK: Active

    Those three lines were signs of escalation that took place in the matter of hours. Bolton tapped on one of the links for Prower's name and fixed his eyes on the general file photo. The face of a young, two-tailed gold and white fox at age 16 stared back. Then it changed to a similar face, one that was a few years older but different. Not in the natural way one's face could evolve as they aged but in the way of a best effort for reconstruction. Glowing blue/cyan eyes stared back now and it was always unnerving whenever he saw them. But at the same time, Admiral Bolton was glad to see them.

    Lieutenant Miles Prower had indeed been killed on Space Station ARK. He was the first of his kind to be revived from that state and put back into action. He was also something new that thirty years ago, couldn’t even be conceived of in a fiction novel in the Old Kingdom. In that space of hours, Lieutenant Prower had been a dead man, turned into a weapon that changed the course of the battle.

    Miles Prower was a cyborg.

    But his story started much earlier.

Chapter 1 – Displacement
Republic Armed Forces Cemetery
Mobotropolis, Republic of Mobius
October 3, 2100

    Rain always seemed to accompany death, Field Marshal Amadeus Prower lamented, raising his eyes while his orderly held a large black umbrella above the fox and his seven-year-old son. The aging field marshal squeezed his white gloved hands into tight fists. Of all the times for this to happen, for Rosemary to die close to Miles’ birthday. He had been unusually still and silent the entire time since the news had been broken. Amadeus had delivered such news to the families of young men and women that were lost under his command in both the Royal Army of Acorn and the Republic Army but had found himself unable to do so for his son.

    Instead it had come gently from someone better equipped to deliver the news to such a young child, the very physician that both tried to save Rosemary in her final moments but also helped bring Miles into the world. Professor Geralt Robotnik stood close by, holding his own umbrella with his wife Johanna as well as his two grown sons, Poul and Julian with their wives at their sides, Noomi and Iva respectively. Of the grandchildren, nineteen-year-old Ovi was the lone adult and continuing his studies in mathematics and robotics. But it would be the other, eleven-year-old Maria who would be the most help to Geralt here.

    The blonde-haired girl adjusted her black hairband and veil before looking up at her grandfather, then Miles. The two-tailed fox looked almost like a statue, standing in black suit and fully buttoned white shirt. Maria broke away from the other Robotniks slowly and approached him. She reached out and took his right hand, startling him. He turned his head towards her, surprise registering on his face.

    “She’s gone.” Miles said quietly.

    “I know.” Maria replied, just as quiet. Releasing his hand, she ran her own against the top of his head, between his ears soothingly. “It’s all right to be sad.”

    “Sad? I’m not sad.” Miles muttered. Maria tiled her head in surprise. “You’re not?”
    “I’m angry, at myself. It’s my fault, it’s all my fault.” Miles growled. That caught his father’s attention. Amadeus looked down and blinked. The younger fox froze and then stared up. “It is, isn’t it? If I hadn’t been born, she wouldn’t have gotten sick, wouldn’t she? That’s why you hadn’t told me, Father. It’s my fault.”

    Amadeus bared his teeth with a low snarl, tightening his fingers even more. He hunched forward and shook, wanting to shake his head and demand to know what put those ideas in his head. Instead he straightened his stance and returned his face to that strange calm that it had since the news broke. Maria did his job for him and he felt a pang of shame for his cowardice.

    “It’s not your fault.” Maria reassured Miles quietly. “It’s as Grandfather said earlier, cancer was a possibility. Your mother worked with all sorts of radioactive material in the Royal Army.”

    “Which brought about the mutation I have, I know.” Miles reached around and grasped his second tail, consciously. While it was possible in normal conditions for Mobian vulpines and canines to develop polycaudality, it was very rare. His genetics were altered in the womb by the vestigial decay of those materials and he had thought it was just going to stay at ridicule and names at school. In his mind, those events escalated and this was the cost.

    “You didn’t kill your mother.” Maria took his right hand and slowly pulled it away from his second tail. Then she stepped around to face him, taking both of his hands. “It’s not your fault, it’s not anyone’s fault.”

    “He thinks it’s mine,” Miles raised his eyes, prompting Maria to shake her head and then study Amadeus’ face. “Your father’s very sad. He’s as much in shock as you are, perhaps more.”

    Amadeus closed his eyes and then stepped back, waving a hand towards his orderly, motioning for them to stay put as he joined Geralt. The human cocked his head as he looked at Miles and Maria. “Penny for your thoughts, Amadeus?”

    “Your granddaughter is unusually wise for her age.” Amadeus murmured.

    “As you know, she tested very close with Miles in intelligence.” Geralt said with a small sigh. “Her mind is set on becoming a medical doctor as well. It seems that my son has brought our first psychiatrist to the family. But that is not what is on your mind, is it?”

    “No,” the field marshal admitted. “What am I to do with him? Our family is not whole, the only Keidens left are distant cousins and my sister is much older than I am. I cannot just put him in the care of an aide, it’s not fair for him or for the subordinate.”

    “Old friend, have you ever thought of just leaving the Republic Army? For godsake, you’re almost fifty. You of all of your people deserve a retirement, to be able to be a father full time.” Geralt suggested.

    “And remarry?” Amadeus shook his head slowly. “No one could replace Rosemary in my heart, as my wife or his mother. Resigning is out of the question as well. I need the work.”

    “Surely not for pay,” Geralt pointed out. “Not at General Staff paygrade.”

    “For my sanity,” Amadeus countered. “Besides, I have an example to set.”

    “You are only Mobian!” Geralt snapped lowly. “You are not some sort of god of war. You’re a good man Amadeus. If you’re certain about staying in service, then perhaps you would permit your friend to suggest a solution.”

    “You have always given me wise counsel before, Doctor.” The fox admitted.

    “Johanna and I have no children to take care of now. Aside from teaching assignments, things are a bit slack. Miles can stay with us in Malmo. He can go to Bladins, Maria would certainly welcome it.” Geralt said.

    “I couldn’t ask you to do that.” Amadeus cast his eyes down.

    “Why not?” Geralt asked.

    “I owe you so much already.” Amadeus self-consciously pressed a finger to his eyepatch.

    “Then consider this repayment. Let us help you one more time for both of your sakes.” The human adjusted his glasses.
    
    Amadeus looked back at Miles, his single tail rising in hanging in the air as he considered what was being offered. He blinked with his single eye, nodding slowly.

    “Very well then. After his birthday.” The field marshal reached out and placed his hand on his son’s shoulder. “Let us return home, Miles.”

    Maria embraced the kit and held him for a few moments. The young fox’s ears lowered as he allowed himself to shed a single tear. He raised his head and eyed the human, blinking before moving back and turning in unison with Amadeus, the two foxes starting to make their way towards where the cars were situated, the orderly following.

     Maria rejoined the other Robotniks and faced the cars with them. Geralt reached out and took her hand, squeezing it gently. He watched Amadeus and Miles get into the staff car and tipped the umbrella in their direction.

    “Miles will be moving in with us in a few weeks.” Geralt said. “He’ll transfer to Bladins.”

    “Your idea,” Maria concluded with a small smile. “Typical grandfather, always finding an opportunity to heal others.”

    “Quite right.” Ovi said, reaching up to massage his fledgling reddish-brown mustache. “After all, it is human duty to protect and enlighten our cosmic neighbors. Would I be able to help with his tutoring for the examinations?”

    “Far be it for me to underestimate his abilities.” Geralt said, looking at his elder grandchild. “The only thing I could think he might need assistance with is his Swedish. But we will cross that bridge if we need to.”

    “Whatever he may require.” Ovi nodded.

October 19, 2100

    “Good morning, Miles.” The voice was not Amadeus’ but familiar. The young fox stirred in his bed and sat up slowly before squinting to adjust for the change of light. Then his eyes slowly opened to take in the sight of a blue hedgehog close to his father’s age, wearing a white shirt with a black necktie. The silver oak leaf of a Republic Army lieutenant colonel was on each side of his collar.

    “Is it time for school then, Jules?” Miles asked quietly, stretching his arms out over his head.  

The hedgehog shook his head. “There will be no school for you today.”

“A cancellation?” Miles asked with a tilt of his head.

“No, nothing like that. Don’t you realize what today is?” Jules asked in turn.

“Tuesday,” Then it dawned on him. “My eighth birthday. But I never had a day away from school on my birthday, Colonel Ogilvie.”

“Your father decided to make an exception.” Jules explained, gesturing with his titanium finished right hand. “I was asked to set out specific clothes for the day. Water’s already drawn up for bath. Near hot as usual as you like.”

“Father’s not one usually for exceptions.” Miles said, casting his blankets aside and sliding off onto his feet. He then turned and pulled the blanket and sheet back to make certain it was properly made before moving towards the hedgehog and the door.

“It certainly is a time that calls for them now.” Jules lamented. He watched the fox disappear towards the master bathroom and sighed softly. Then he looked down at his right hand, drawing the sleeve back slightly. Fifteen years ago, it was a normal arm and he was a whole man. He was the then Colonel Prower’s executive officer in the 1st King’s Guard Regiment. Both had come up from lower ranks in tanks and the two were close friends. Ogilvie had the opportunity to strike out for his own regiment but instead stayed by Amadeus’ side. It wasn’t that he didn’t have ambition, but that he felt that he was in the right place already.

He was glad that he had stayed on that fateful day in 2085. Or whatever the old Royal Calendar Date was, human standardization came on quickly. King Frederick Acorn had been incensed at a bungled offensive by General Murat D’Coolette that caused the bulk of his army to be bogged down and encircled by the echidnas. He could just about guess at how the mad king fumed at how his superior modern army was stopped by descendants of those who opposed his grandfather in 2012 with spears and arrows.

Little did King Frederick know, little did any of them know, they had observers high up and above. For decades, the humans had watched and seemed to watch impartially. Contact with the planet was on moratorium or at least that was what the member nations of the United Nations understood. Quietly though, Russian intelligence operatives contacted the echidna tribes and came to a general understanding of the long running conflict. After all, they were fighting for freedom from an oppressive imperialist nation.

They could have possibly broached the issue at the United Nations Security Council but America, Britain and the others would have likely poo-pooed armed intervention. They were enlightened from nation building on the barrel of a gun, after how that quagmired in the early 21st. So, in the spirit of their former communist trappings, they operated in secret. There were no armed blockades of the planet, just observer drones and occasional scientific orbital survey missions. There was intelligence to be gathered here, old surplus to get rid of and while the echidnas wanted to know the price, meager agreements for mining rights or treasures were made. They had more than enough back on Earth. The Russians were simply curious as to whether the echidnas could be organized.

Soon trainers and mercenaries would come and large “science” shuttles were brought into orbit, with carefully measured efforts to drop cargo away from UN surveillance. The echidnas were taught Russian and English, given uniforms as well as guns, vehicles, boats and supplies as well as the training needed to use them. Advisors would help them point out the weaknesses in the Royal Army of Acorn and to their humor; they realized that the enemy’s weapons and doctrine were equivalent to that of the early Cold War.

Soviet and Federation-era T-72s, T-80s, T-90s and BMPs rampaged and cut through Acornian armor and men while Spetzyeknaz teams captured important documents and officers. It was here in the failed D’Coolette offensive that King Frederick decided it was time to turn the balance of power back in his favor. Having cultivated a first-generation atomic weapons program, he was set on smashing both the echidnas and his disgraced and shattered army together. The 1st Royal Guards were to come in and sweep up what was left.

Amadeus knew about the program of course as he had fingers in a secret peace and democracy activist group. Someone that went by the codename of White Rose had given him information about the experiments. When the orders came, he seemed to comply at first but then rallied his men to turn around and instead attack the airbases and field artillery convoys. This forced Frederick to travel to an array of silos where he kept loyal company. Here Sebastian intercontinental missiles sat, large and unwieldy for this sort of operation, but they would do the job.

Amadeus and Jules had raced to the facility and met stiff resistance after being informed of the king’s plans by White Rose. The 1st Royal Guards however seemed to have the situation in hand. That was until a sniper’s bullet tore through the fox’s eye and felled him. Furious and intending to protect his commander, Jules put himself in the way of the next shot and fell as well, on top of him, his right arm mangled and useless. Seemingly to die together in battle as they fantasized as cadets.

The initial launches by the Acornians had caught UN attention and drones had been scrambled through the Warp Gate along with contingents of troops. The drones had intercepted every missile and shot them out of the sky and signaled their arrival. On approach to secure the launch site, German Bundeswehr forces ran into the 1st Royal Guards and a hasty surrender was agreed to. It was here where the two had met Dr. Geralt Robotnik of Sweden. The doctor had quickly packed them off with Bundeswehr medics assisting in stabilizing them. Amadeus’ eye was destroyed and useless, but he still had his mind intact. Jules however after all the fighting, decided to take a discharge. He had been promoted for his bravery to his final rank of lieutenant colonel and his friend had decided to give him work by putting him in charge of maintaining his home.

One became two when Captain Rosemary Keiden, formerly of the Royal Acornian Artillery Corps met the now Field Marshal Prower and she had revealed herself as the secret source of his information. They had later married and Miles came into the fold. It certainly seemed to be the best of times, their nation would be rebuilt into a republic, heal and embrace their new friends from above.

It was not to be though, not any longer. The price of freedom had finally been paid by biology. The technical details of Rosemary’s death were all laid out in an autopsy record that was sealed inside of an envelope within Amadeus’ personal desk, unopened since it was given. The autopsy itself was originally going to be eschewed in favor towards Professor Robotnik’s diagnosis of advanced cancer, but the Republic Federal Police and the Army CID allegedly smelled a rat, per Jules’ contacts.

He was not naïve by any means but the idea of someone wanting to assassinate either Field Marshal or Captain Prower was unheard of. Amadeus was a revolutionary hero after all, originally offered the leadership of the nation but declined it. Unlike George Washington though, he remained firm on his refusal. As for Rosemary, why assassinate a woman who was fifteen years out of the atomic warfare game? Especially after transitioning to a teaching role?

In either event, it would take time to determine what happened. It would not change the result. Rosemary was dead, Amadeus without a wife and Miles without a mother. Jules moved to the closet and slid one of its doors back, removing a hanger that had the day’s chosen clothes wrapped in plastic. He walked out and closed the door, setting the hanger on the doorknob of the master bathroom before moving along to other things.

After twenty minutes passed, Miles was out of the bathtub and moved over to a chamber that had several nozzles pointing inwards. He walked in and flipped a switch, putting his thumbs into his ears as a pump came to life and warm air shot at his body from all angles. The moisture in his fur started to dissipate while he raised his tails. Another minute or two passed before he was dry and he shut the chamber down with a switch. No need for a towel in this age except for cover.

The fox stepped out and went to open the bathroom door, finding the hanger there. He unhooked it and drew his clothes in, freeing the plastic cover. Dress uniform for the Republic Army in his size, with cadet insignia on the epaulets. He stared at it, eyes narrowing before removing each piece, putting on the undershirt and boxers first. Then he pushed his arms into the sleeves of the white, long-sleeved shirt and buttoned it before stepping into the gray trousers. Pulling them up to his waist, he fastened them and took the black tie, lifting his collar up and opened the clip, placing it before closure. Finally came the gray jacket, so much like his father’s.

Once that was done, Miles exited the bathroom and found that Jules was standing there, holding socks and boots. He took them wordlessly and sat down to put his socks on while the boots were set before him. Finally, he stepped into the tall Wellingtons and blinked.

“What’s the idea then Colonel?” Miles asked.

“You’ll be having breakfast with your father.” The hedgehog replied.

“Oh.” The fox looked down and adjusted his tie’s alignment. “Well, I think I’m ready then.”

“Excellent.” Jules motioned for him to follow down the hallway. He picked up his own jacket from a chair and pulled it on. Of course, it was the same generation, he wouldn’t be caught dead in the old Royal Army blues any longer. Though he wore his ribbons both Acornian and Republic as entitled. Miles followed him to the coatroom and then out the door, down the steps and to where the hedgehog’s car was waiting. It looked like a relic compared to the human imports but it had four wheels and drove. Though there was the exception of the engine plant, replaced with a hydrogen fuel cell system. Ironic, being so close to ruining their ecosystem with atomics not long ago and one of the first things tackled by the new government was eco-friendliness. He missed being able to raise the hood to get his hands dirty.

Miles got into the back of the black coupe and Jules got into his place in the front. He turned the key, listened for the customary humming and watched the dials turn. Damn thing didn’t even sputter and roar like it did with the old plant. He switched into reverse and backed out slowly, stopping for another car to pass before cranking the wheel to the right. Once straightened up, he went into drive and started to cruise.

Republic Military Executive
Mobotropolis, Republic of Mobius

    The Military Executive was nothing like the Pentagon in Washington. In fact, without foreknowledge of what it was, one would assume it was just another series of office buildings. Plans were being laid for a new facility based on upgrade designs but with the relative peace, the Mobians were comfortable with the status quo for now. At a guardhouse set on the street that passed by the main entrance, Jules had shown his credentials to an echidna MP who waved them through.

    The division between their races was as dead as the Kingdom. Quickly after the establishment of the Republic, they had come to an amicable settlement and set their Russian weapons aside for a militia force. Echidnas were now equals and considered Mobians like all others. The rabid old guard had gone off with the king, wherever he was now. Rumor was that he somehow made it off planet. Others thought he went to hide in some bunker with Queen Alyx and shot himself before the echidnas could dig him out. Miles certainly held no reservations against the echidnas, disliking someone for their race was just overall a stupid idea.

    As they parked, Jules reached into his pocket and removed his smartphone. That was something that still amazed him; the phones he was used to had to come on the fat blue backpacks of radiomen. It didn’t take long for a cellular network to get set up on Mobius. At first drones acted as mobile hub points until towers could be permanently installed. Then came the networks, gleefully finding an entire world to sell off inventory to. Mobians that either had no phones or perhaps wall sets were pushed into the modern day. Information and other people at their fingertips and one could even call through to Earth with special relay satellites beaming their calls and data to the other side of the Warp Gate with little to no lag at all. Humanity had solved these problems some time ago with their understanding of quantum mechanics.

    He put a call through to Amadeus’ office and informed his adjutant that they had arrived. Then the hedgehog got out and Miles followed in turn. They moved through the lot and then across the street, since this section had no traffic at either gate. Then they passed a line of concrete wall to another guardhouse where their credentials were checked again before they could enter.

    Jules knew where they were going of course, he had been there few times with Amadeus when they were just colonel and major. Miles looked over at the circular seals for each branch; Republic Army, to his surprise the Republic Navy’s had new wording, now the Republic Sea Navy and then one he had not seen earlier, the Republic Space Navy. Something to ask Father about, he thought as they moved along.

    The canteen was split into four sections, one for visitors, one for enlisted personnel, officers and finally staff officers and executives. The various enlisted men turned and stood up to salute both the hedgehog who returned the gesture and a wave to continue business, and with small smiles, the fox. He nervously returned the salute and repeated the process with the officer’s section. Finally, in the wood finished enclave of the staff officers’ section, he saw his father rise from the long table and approach with three other men.

    The first man was familiar; he was on a portrait of every major government building and in his citizenship books at school. President Maximilian Acorn smiled and knelt to eye level with the fox. More nervous, Miles rendered yet another salute and Maximilian returned it.

    “Happy birthday, young man.” The president said, beaming. He wore a red suit jacket and pants along with a matching red tie. Formerly the Crown Prince under King Frederick, he was more liberal than his father. At first when the coup had occurred, it was thought that they would place Maximilian on the throne and submit, but instead he had agreed to rule provisionally until the framework for the Republic could be set.

Finally, once their constitution had been set, he abdicated, expecting Amadeus to go up for election. Instead the fox surprised him, suggesting that he run for office. At the very worst, he could just have lost and retired to quiet life. Instead, the popularity gained with his short yet just rule as King won out and he became the first president of the new republic. After four years as president, he decided to decline a consecutive term but still pulled a symbolic proportion of the vote. After two terms of the also popular Roger St. John, he decided to run again in 2098.
    
    “Thank you, Mr. President.” Miles said quietly, bowing his head. Maximilian smiled and patted the fox between his ears. Miles slowly walked towards the seat that was to his father’s right, immediately noticing its difference in scale compared to the others. There was a circular rail at the bottom to boost him to where he could reach the seat. Once he was seated, Amadeus looked in his direction, smiling, or at least the best approximation of one.

    “Eight years old and another eight to go before you enter national service.” Amadeus said. The second and third of the men turned to face him. First was a black wolf with a strange pair of eyes, one red and one green. He wore a Sea Navy uniform with the single bronze star of a commodore on his collar. Aviator wings were on his chest but the hat was different, a charcoal gray visor cap with a rocket and anchor device on the front.

    “He would do well in the Space Navy,” The wolf said, narrowing his red eye and staring. “Though I would wager that you have him groomed for the Army.”

    “You’re with the Republic Space Navy?” Miles piped up, staring up at the wolf’s cap.

    “Indeed I am. Commodore Crow Seetan formerly of the Sea Navy.” Seetan reached out with a large hand and took the fox’s right hand; grip strong as he shook it once. “Your father helped convince the Forum of our need of a spacefaring force. We can’t by conscience just have the humans provide external defense for us. It will be a few years before we are fully organized but mark my words, pirate and royalist will scatter like the bugs they are once we’re spaceworthy. Ever been into space?”

    “A few times apparently, but apparently, I was too young to form full memory of it, Commodore.” Miles replied, ears lowering.

    “Well that leads into your birthday gift.” Amadeus said, removing his hat and setting it down atop of his plate. He reached into the inner pocket of his jacket and removed a plastic card with a magnetic strip on its back, setting it on the table before sliding it over towards Miles. “I am going to be very busy with work but I want the best for you. Professor Robotnik has invited you to stay with him and his family on Earth.”

    Miles reached out and slowly raised the card. It was a one-way ticket card, programmed for transit out of Mobotropolis by shuttle. Leaving Mobotropolis in late December, arriving at Malmo Aeroport. Malmo, he closed his eyes slightly, searching through his memory of Earth geography. Sweden! He would be staying in Sweden! A small country but rich in history and culture, known best as where the Nobel Prize was awarded.

    “That’s right.” The third man of course was Geralt Robotnik. He smiled and pulled at his bushy greying mustache. “We’ll be switching you to the Bladins International School, that will take time to finalize which is why we are not leaving immediately. Of course, the move will also occur on winter vacation so that there’s no drop in continuity. Gives you time to say farewell to friends too.”

    “Farewell to taunters.” Miles replied, raising his ears. “At least I’d have an even shot at making friends with humans.”

    “Well, Maria will be in the same school as well, though she is three years ahead of you.” Geralt said with a nod.

    “That will be an excellent start.” Miles said, muzzle flushed. Then he looked to Amadeus. "Thank you, father."

    "Let us eat." The field marshal acknowledged his son with a nod and folded his hands together before picking the fold out menu that sat upon each plate.

 

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